Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic, painful, inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joints are located in the lower back, between the spine and the pelvis, where the sacrum meets the iliac bone. Prolonged or chronic inflammation of these areas causes pain and stiffness in around the spine. Ankylosing spondylitis is more common in males than in females and usually more often begins between the age of 20 to 40.
With the progression of disease chronic spinal inflammation leads to new bone growth that extends in to the tendons and ligaments, leading to a fusion of the vertebrae, this process in known as ankylosis. Ankylosis causes total loss of mobility of spine, restricted the ability to move.
Ankylosing spondylitis as also a systemic rheumatic disease, which causes inflammation in other joints, ligaments, and tendons away from the spine, including chest wall, can also involve other organs such as, heart, lungs, eyes, and kidneys.
Cause of ankylosing spondylitis
The cause of Ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but may be associated with an auto immune response to an infective organism. There is a strong hereditary link the HLA-b27 gene, which is present in 80-90% of patients. There is also a relationship with certain types of sero-negative chronic juvenile arthritis in members of family.
Clinical features of ankylosing spondylitis
- Insidious onset of discomfort
- Persistence of symptoms for more than three months
- Morning stiffness
- Improvement with exercise
- Hip pain
- Loss of spinal flexibility
- Sacroiliac or low back pain
- Reduced mobility
- Neck pain
- Stiff spine
Some other symptoms
- Heel pain
- Appetite loss
- Pain in shoulder, knee, and ankle along with swelling
- Inflammation in the eyes
- Weight loss
- Low grade fever
- Numbness and weakness of extremities
Investigations for ankylosis spondylitis
Radiological investigations – shows sacroilliitis, early change in lumbar spine is manifested as squaring of the superior and inferior margins of vertebral body, later change results in bamboo spine.
ESR – elevated in 50 % cases
Serum IgA – may be elevated
Serum creatinine phosphokinase and alkaline phosphatase – may be slightly raised
HLA-B27 – present in 95% of cases.
Homeopathic treatment of ankylosing spondylitis
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat Ankylosing spondylitis but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat Ankylosing spondylitis that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of Ankylosing spondylitis:
Silicea – weak spine; very susceptible to draughts on back. Coccyx painful, spinal irritation due to injuries to spine
Calcaria phos – excellent remedy for Ankylosing spondylitis, soreness in sacro-iliac symphusis as if broken
Calcaria flour – pain in lower back with burning sensation
Calcaria carb – pain in back as if sprained; can scarcely raise; rheumatism in lumber region; curvature of dorsal vertebrae.
Sulphur – sensation as if vertebrae glided over each other
Kali bi – pain in coccyx and sacrum extending up and down, cannot walk.
Kali carb – remarkable remedy for Ankylosing spondylitis, great exhaustion; stiffness and paralytic feeling in back; burning in spine; small of back feels weak
Conium – coccyodynia; dull aching in lumber and sacral region
Phosphorous – pain in back as if broken; burning sensation; weak spine
Phosphoric acid – pain in back and limbs, as if beaten.